The image above might not mean a lot to many people. But, it was part of my day Sunday as two of us traveled to White Plains for a baseball card show. These shows are held at this spot every few months, but I’ve been hitting the March one for the past three or so years as my yearly intake of baseball cards. I was a little more strapped this year, so I was just kind of looking for things that caught my eye a little.
Jim Konstanty pitched seven seasons with the Phillies, including being part of the 1950 Whiz Kids. A reliever, Konstanty had 22 saves that season — as well as 16 victories! He also started Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Yankees, but lost, 1-0. The Phils were swept in the Series but Konstanty was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player.
That regular season, he pitched in 74 games and finished 62! He even had a 2.66 ERA over 152 innings — which some starters these days might not reach! And he was a reliever!
I know of Jim Konstanty because I’m a Phillies fan. I also know because his son is a prominent lawayer in our area and I covered his grandson, who also went on to play professional baseball, when he was in high school.
I’m usually not a collector of old baseball cards. First, because they can be quite expensive. Second, because it’s tough to get what you want, usually. Anyway, as we strolled around the card show Sunday, we came upon a table selling a lot of old cards. I’ve wanted to get a few old cheaper cards, just to have as they are really wild, I think.
I peered into the one box and saw several Phillies cards.
So, I started looking through to see if there was a card or something that really drew me in. As I flipped, I saw this one. I knew right away who it was and I was interested. Then I saw the price.
I immediately had to buy it. It’s not in mint condition, as you can probably see by the scan. But it’s in pretty solid shape. The colors are still sharp. My worry is that this might have made me want to do something with Jim Konstanty cards.
See, a lot of collectors go after one or two players. I’ve done it in the past with a few such as Larry Christenson, Tom Brookens and Bill Monbouquette. Christenson was my favorite pitcher growing up and I covered Brookens and Monbouquette, so that drew my interest. I have a couple of other smaller collections of players I covered, but their card selections aren’t too massive.
It’s hard trying to collect every card a player has.
With Christenson and Brookens, I have the bulk of their cards. Same for Luis Quinones, another player I collect, and someone I used to cover. Monbouquette is another story, as his cards are older, thus making things a bit more expensive. When I look sometimes, I’ll find something a bit affordable and I’ll grab it. But I knew his cards were going to take time to collect.
And then I had to find this little gem of a card in this 1950 Bowman Konstanty.
I’m a subscriber to Beckett, a monthly guide aimed at the card collecting market. On their website, you can do custom setups for card collections. According to Beckett, this 1950 card is Konstanty’s rookie card. But, also, he has 39 cards listed with the database. Some could be very tough (for example, he has a 2009 SP Legendary Cuts signature numbered to 5… that could be rough!) to get, but I might try.
Why not, right?
I almost had a second card of his at the show. It’s a 1952 Topps. Beautiful card. Clean, crisp… and $42.
In my current situation, I don’t think $42 for a vintage card would have been smart. So I’ll peek around eBay and the Beckett Marketplace. While I’m at it, I think I should pull out my other player collections and see what I’m missing. Maybe I can fill in some blanks.
I’ll have another post or two this week about the card show as I have some things I want to share. But for now, I’ll leave you with the back of the Konstanty card.